29 August 2013

World News Roundtable - 29 August 2013

Roundtable Contributors: Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog), Alan Mize, Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com), and Andrew (Disney Hipsters Blog). 

Charging Under the Big Top

Alan Mize 

For a lot of us, our electronic gadgets are attached to us like a third limb.  As much as I hate to admit it, I keep my iPhone with me at all times, even while on vacation.  I want to share my WDW adventures with my friends on twitter and Instagram.  Not to mention that as Disney continues to roll out new “next gen” vacation planning tools like My Disney Experience, I find myself on my phone way more than I want to be while on vacation.  All of this social networking and app use tends to make very short work of the battery on my iPhone.  Disney, in their infinite wisdom, recognizes this and has started to install charging stations in the parks.  The Tangled bathroom area already had some charging stations installed when that section of Fantasyland opened and this week, more charging stations were opened in the Storybook Circus area.  I definitely see the need for this because more and more of society (myself included) are glued to their technology.  As it stands now, there are only a handful of charging stations so it clearly isn’t going to keep every guest plugged in all day, but if you’re waiting outside the restroom for a family member, go ahead and plug in to get a little charge while you wait.  As for me, I’m heading down to WDW later this fall and I think I’m going to try to stay unplugged during the day.  Instead, I’ll enjoy the parks, my friends, and my family.  Social Media will still be there when I get back to the room at night.

Eat at Eric's 

Andrew (Disney Hipsters Blog)

In perhaps the biggest (though not very big...) surprise news of the week, Prince Eric's Village Market will be opening soon in New Fantasyland! As far as I know this small food location was completely out of the blue for most fans, I for one had heard nothing about it.  Even though Prince Eric's is hardly a full on counter service restaurant, any addition to the severely lacking New Fantasyland is a plus in my book.  The new location will be very similar to other "fresh fruit and drinks" stands that appear in each park...offering light snacks that are somewhat more healthy than say, a churro.  I am happy to note that my beloved pickle in a bag will be available. Score.

A Spoon full of Blu-ray

Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com)

A trailer has surfaced for the December 10 Blu-ray debut of Mary Poppins, and if its opening moments elicit chills. It's marvelously put together and reminds us that this really is the quintessential Disney film, the one that culminated everything Walt learned over his vast career and presented it in a single project full of magic.

Newly created bonus features are sparse (they include something called "Mary-Oke" and a sneak peek at Saving Mr. Banks). Honestly, though, the carry-over bonuses from previous Mary Poppins DVD releases are so brilliantly thorough that it's completely fine that there's not much new. There's already plenty to see, and all of it is great. The main attraction here is the high definition, and, of course, all the grandeur and publicity that comes with a new Blu-ray release. I think I speak for everyone in saying it's nice to have Ms. Poppins back in the spotlight.

A Muppet in it's Natural Habitat, a Biography

Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog) 

I'm getting a little literary on you this week, but Kirkus released a list of anticipated fall biographies and I'm thrilled to see Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones made the cut. With the exception of a few children's biographies and books based on his work, there isn't really a book out there about Jim the Man so that's why this is so exciting.

According to an interview in Publishers Weekly, it took two years before the Henson family was comfortable with the idea of Jones writing a biography; he was granted interviews with many close to Jim as well as access to the Henson archives. This book release is long overdue, and I urge you to go and pre-order your copy right now.

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